MADISON, Wis. — Trial began today in federal court in the voting rights case One Wisconsin Institute, Inc., et al., Plaintiffs, v. Gerald C. Nichol, et al. (Case No. 15-CV-324).
Plaintiffs are arguing that the challenged voting restrictions adopted by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican controlled legislature were meant to and have the effect of making it more difficult to vote in Wisconsin, especially for minorities, young people, and voters who tend to support Democratic candidates.
In the first day of testimony Todd Allbaugh, a former top staffer for a Republican state senator, revealed that, in their private deliberations, several Senators advocated for a restrictive voter ID measure out of concern for gaining electoral advantage and were “giddy” at the prospect of enacting the new hurdle to voting in the state.
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross:
“Gov. Walker and the Republican legislature have perpetrated a comprehensive, sustained attack on voting rights in Wisconsin that has spanned five years.
“The testimony of a former GOP insider today confirms that the centerpiece of their agenda, a restrictive voter ID law, was targeted to suppress votes and that several senators were ‘giddy’ at the prospect.
“This assault on our democracy is no laughing matter. We look forward to continuing to expose the fraud being perpetrated on Wisconsin by Republican politicians manipulating the rules on voting to give themselves an unfair advantage, and putting an end to it.”